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Mrs. Beckett: My hon. Friend is right. There is great concern, and the motion tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Stevenage (Barbara Follett) is important. The Government sympathise, but I cannot necessarily undertake to find time for a full debate in the House. I recommend to my hon. Friend, as to others, the attractions of Westminster Hall. One of the reasons for proposing it was so that there would be more time for more specific debates on issues such as foreign affairs.

Mr. Patrick McLoughlin (West Derbyshire): Can we have a debate on the administration of local justice? Is the Leader of the House aware that the proposals to close Ashbourne, Bakewell and Matlock magistrates courts have been brought forward without the alternative arrangements that were promised at the time of the original closures? Will the right hon. Lady arrange for a debate on this important issue?

Mrs. Beckett: No, I was not aware that the proposals had been brought forward without the alternatives being in place. I cannot undertake to arrange a debate, but I can undertake to draw attention to the hon. Gentleman's remarks.

Mr. Tom Levitt (High Peak): Can my right hon. Friend find time for a debate on the funding of health care? I was inspired to ask the question because I understand that the hon. Member for Woodspring (Dr. Fox) has made the somewhat bizarre claim that the Tories

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    Given that my memory of insurance and pensions in the 1980s is one of rip off and chaos, is it not time that we took an opportunity to lance the boil at an early stage?

Mrs. Beckett: My hon. Friend makes an important point. As he says, the way in which the Tories revolutionised private pension insurance is well within everybody's memory. That is precisely why everybody is afraid of the Tory proposals for health care. I fear, however, that I cannot on those grounds undertake to find time for a special debate on the matter. When the Opposition next try to exploit health matters, my hon. Friend will no doubt bear in mind the points that he has raised.

Mr. Christopher Chope (Christchurch): Will the Leader of the House find time for an early debate on the growing scandal of the £92 million which the Government spend on their own advertising? Will we have an opportunity during that debate to ascertain how it came about that Mr. Ray Porter was chosen to star in the new deal advertisements? Was it because he had been a subscriber to Labour party funds or because he was an example of a particularly bad and inappropriate employer?

Mrs. Beckett: I do not know anything about Mr. Ray Porter, but I do know about the Government's advertising. I am well aware that much of that advertising has been directed to ensuring that people are aware of the opportunities that are available under programmes such as the new deal. It is perfectly legitimate for the Government to do that and it is something that every Government have done. Unlike the previous, Conservative Government, whom the hon. Gentleman supported, we are making sure that our advertising covers the entire country and is not confined, as under the previous Government, to constituencies where there might be concern about unemployment without there being many unemployed people within them.

Mr. John Hayes (South Holland and The Deepings): Further to the point made by my right hon. Friend the Member for North-West Hampshire (Sir G. Young) about the status of Lord Levy, will the Leader of the House give the House the opportunity to hear, in the form of a statement, clarification of the specific responsibilities and duties of Lord Levy, who is described as the Prime Minister's personal envoy in the middle east? That would put an end to the speculation about his shadowy dealings in funding political parties in this country and in the middle east. It would be fairer to him, to the House and to the wider public, because the House needs to know to whom Lord Levy is accountable.

Mrs. Beckett: As I have already said, a written answer is a statement to the House. I refer the hon. Gentleman to yesterday's Hansard, column 221W. He says that a statement would put an end to speculation; I doubt that very much.

Mr. Tony Baldry (Banbury): May we have a debate in Government time on the work of the immigration and nationality directorate? I am sure that everybody at Croydon works extremely hard, and I know that the Minister and her private office who have a responsibility for immigration matters are always extremely courteous, but there is chaos.

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I quote two cases that have arisen in the past 24 hours in my constituency. A company in Banbury wants a key person with a work permit. It has been given three different answers: first, it has been told that the case has been filed and put in the archives; secondly, it has been told that the individual can come; and, thirdly, it has been told to consult the British Consulate in the country concerned. The second case involves a lady who married and came to the United Kingdom perfectly properly last July. She applied for entry clearance to Croydon in July and is still waiting.

Those cases have arisen within 24 hours. I am sure that every colleague in the House is aware of numerous cases of this sort. Please may we have a debate? Our staff are spending a disproportionate amount of time on the telephone to Croydon and are chasing one another's tails. It must be possible to do things in a better way.

Mrs. Beckett: I understand the anxieties that the hon. Gentleman properly identified. I am sure that many hon. Members have similar anxieties and experiences. I have had them for the past 20 years; I hope that a Labour Government will finally sort out the problems.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield): The Leader of the House does a wonderful job, and I congratulate her. Will she agree to the request of the hon. Member for Thurrock (Mr. Mackinlay) for an early debate on the Liaison Committee report entitled "Shifting the Balance"? That important Select Committee is dominated by Labour Members of long service and experience, and the report received unanimous support.

Secondly, will the Leader of the House make arrangements for a statement on what was apparently the Prime Minister's decision to locate Diamond Synchrotron in Oxford rather than Daresbury in the north-west? That decision to locate more jobs in the home counties and the south-east rather than the north-west has caused serious anxiety and disappointment across the political spectrum, including in Labour councils.

Mrs. Beckett: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his kind remarks. The Liaison Committee report is a major, substantial document, which requires careful consideration. However, I cannot undertake to find time for an early debate.

I understand completely the concern that has been expressed throughout the north-west about the Daresbury project. Many of my hon. Friends have also raised the matter. The Office of Science and Technology and the Wellcome Trust recommended the site that has been chosen to the two Governments involved. However, I understand the anxiety in the north-west and the Government are endeavouring to respond to it.

Mr. Andrew Stunell (Hazel Grove): May I press the Leader of the House on the amalgamation of the Employment Service and the Benefits Agency? When she returns to her office, she will discover that it is not a gimmick that my hon. Friend the Member for North Cornwall (Mr. Tyler) or the right hon. Member for Fylde (Mr. Jack) dreamt up. Will she undertake to make a

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statement and give us the opportunity for a debate on a fundamental matter of Government policy and administration?

Mrs. Beckett: I accept the hon. Gentleman's point that an indication, to which he and other hon. Members referred, has been given. I cannot undertake to find time for a specific statement, but I shall draw his remarks to the attention of my right hon. Friend.

Miss Anne McIntosh (Vale of York): Given that Back Benchers have few opportunities to speak on proposed legislation if they are not members of a Standing Committee, does the Leader of the House agree that producing timetabling motions for more Bills restricts Back Benchers' ability to represent their constituents' interests? Will she consider the rights of Back Benchers and their obligation to their constituents, and keep such timetabling to an absolute minimum? I agree with the hon. Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Cryer), who called for shorter recesses to allow more time for us to examine Bills adequately and ensure that proper legislation reaches the statute book.

Mrs. Beckett: Under this Government, there have been shorter recesses. I know that Conservative Members deny that, but if the hon. Lady checks, she will find that that is true.

I could not disagree with the hon. Lady more. Proper timetabled debates are in the interests of Back Benchers. [Hon. Members: "No."] I can tell the hon. Lady that I have been a Member of Parliament for substantially longer than her. During that time, when I have been involved with legislation, I have always made sure that the time was properly apportioned. That ensured that there was time to discuss the important issues.

None of our constituents understand or have sympathy for Members of Parliament wasting hours on trivial debates--[Interruption.] I know that the hon. Lady does not waste time, but I simply point out that our constituents do not understand it when we waste time on trivial debates and complain that there is no time for important issues. A proper agreement to tackle important issues avoids that. I believed that when I was a member of the Opposition--we were a good Opposition--and it remains my view.

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